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Road trip activities that don't involve a screen? - Page 2

post #21 of 46

When my ds was a baby, we were on a road trip that for the trip back home was done at night.  Since it was at night, we had figured that ds would be asleep, especially since we were in the car where he'd be more likely to fall asleep.  Unfortunately, that is not how things happened.  He stayed awake.  Very awake.  Very unhappy and awake.  Seems that the lights from the headlights of the other cars on the highway were falling right into his eyes.  I would have been awake and unhappy, too, in that situation!  I do hope that you don't have that situation, and if you do, you are able to pull over and find somewhere for your whole family to sleep.

 

I second the idea of pipecleaners and a aquadoodle.  A magnadoodle is good, too.  For your three year old, bring along some tape.  It amazes me how long that can entertain a kid of that age, especially when combined with pipecleaners (and straws!).   If you are comfortable with him using scissors in the car (think those plastic safety scissors used in preschools), bring along some old magazines and he can make collages.  I would rethink the gameboy unless your ds already has experience with them only because you may be setting him up for great frustration when he can't do something fast enough in order to get anywhere, or can't figure out how to play the game at all.  Unless of course you don't mind turning around to the back seat every 30 seconds to help him!  nut.gif (BTDT, and almost tossed the game out the window).  

 

I would plan on the potty breaks being longer than a quick in and out.  Your 1yo in particular is going to need it, as there is nothing they like at that stage more than being able to move about!  You will also need to make sure that both you and your dp have the time to sleep so that you can be well-rested when it your time to drive.  Driving while sleepy is seriously not safe for anybody!

post #22 of 46

We've done A LOT of long road trip with our kids, usually 3 or more days (once we did an 8 day trip) and I can't stress enough how awful day two is if you've pulled an all-nighter driving and the kids have slept and are full of energy. By 10 am you will be stabby.

 

We did the all night thing once when our kids were 2 & 3 and I'd rather not go at all than do that again.

 

What worked here was to leave in the morning, around 6 am and drive until 6 or 7 pm with some decent stops in between. ( Stopping at rest stops with greenspace is great, as are McDonald's playlands for lunch) Stay at a cheapy motel, order pizza, run around outside, let your little guy ride his bike around, and begin again the next day.

 

Just my 2 cents worth.

 

Oh and buy a dvd player. You can go back to limiting screen time at home but seriously, save your sanity.

 

 

 

post #23 of 46


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by rutabega View Post

 

I would plan on the potty breaks being longer than a quick in and out.  Your 1yo in particular is going to need it, as there is nothing they like at that stage more than being able to move about!  You will also need to make sure that both you and your dp have the time to sleep so that you can be well-rested when it your time to drive.  Driving while sleepy is seriously not safe for anybody!


Yeah, to all this.  I know with my kids, if even one of them needs/wants to get out when we take a 'quick' bathroom stop, it can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes.  It's not as easy as one adult running in to pee real quick, and all of those stops add up, which is why I would count on the trip taking several hours longer than you plan.  Not to mention any car trouble or otherwise that could pop up. 

 

Whoever is driving first at night surely needs to sleep all day the day before, but I know in reality, and from experience, that is unlikely to work out b/c you will have last minute prepping and packing to do - plus the usual care for the kids. 

 

Honestly, I'd drive during the day, stay somewhere overnight, then drive the whole next day.  that keeps everyone on a normal schedule, b/c otherwise, your kids are likely to sleep in their car seats a bit during the day and keep you up at night when you reach your destination - which will suck if you two adults are exhausted. 

 

post #24 of 46
Thread Starter 

Ok so I rearranged the carseats......put ds in the middle and dd on the outside. dd is entertained by songs and stuff and this way I'll be able to sit next to ds and help him with stuff. normally I sit in the middle and I can always move ds back over but I figured this way he could see more also (being able to see between the front seats).

 

Tomorrow afternoon I'm taking the kids out of the house to a bouncy house while SO sleeps all afternoon. Then we are going to a Bible study at 7 PM and then leaving after that. no afternoon nap for them tomorrow. We are lucky in that our kids do sleep in the car. They are both used to overnight trips so that's not new for them. It's the length of the whole trip, total, that has me worried.

 

I will definitely bring some tape--that is a great idea! I found some cheap puzzles for $2 at walmart today and ds picked one out...he has a whiteboard that also functions as a lap desk so I'm thinking he'll be able to put it together on that (it's only about 20 pieces).

 

Oh, and I'm not against the idea of screen time....they will definitely be watching stuff on the netbook. It's just that I know they won't be entertained by that the whole time, and I'd also like for them to have other options for entertainment besides just the screen. Plus, with one rf and one ff I have to sit back there the whole time and hold the thing so they can both see. It can be finagled  to where they can both see but then they reach for it and fight over it. So I just sit there and hold it. Super fun times. lol.

post #25 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post

Ok so I rearranged the carseats......put ds in the middle and dd on the outside. dd is entertained by songs and stuff and this way I'll be able to sit next to ds and help him with stuff. normally I sit in the middle and I can always move ds back over but I figured this way he could see more also (being able to see between the front seats).

 

Tomorrow afternoon I'm taking the kids out of the house to a bouncy house while SO sleeps all afternoon. Then we are going to a Bible study at 7 PM and then leaving after that. no afternoon nap for them tomorrow. We are lucky in that our kids do sleep in the car. They are both used to overnight trips so that's not new for them. It's the length of the whole trip, total, that has me worried.

 

I will definitely bring some tape--that is a great idea! I found some cheap puzzles for $2 at walmart today and ds picked one out...he has a whiteboard that also functions as a lap desk so I'm thinking he'll be able to put it together on that (it's only about 20 pieces).

 

Oh, and I'm not against the idea of screen time....they will definitely be watching stuff on the netbook. It's just that I know they won't be entertained by that the whole time, and I'd also like for them to have other options for entertainment besides just the screen. Plus, with one rf and one ff I have to sit back there the whole time and hold the thing so they can both see. It can be finagled  to where they can both see but then they reach for it and fight over it. So I just sit there and hold it. Super fun times. lol.


If you are going to be sitting there entertaining the kids, when are you going to get sleep so that you are alert when it's your turn to drive?  Your schedule seems way too tight to me.  

post #26 of 46

My favorite thing was taking a small cookie sheet (or buying one!)  It made a great surface for coloring!   Plus we had to make quite a few bathroom breaks.   DS got to pick a magnet from each state (we drove from IL to key West, FL, plus made stops at Panama City Beach and Disney then back).

And he loved those magic pen marker sets.  He was 3 (and I was prg. w/ODD).

 

I also bought a few small $$ store items (cards, squishy things, stationary sets...etc) and wrapped them and he would get one (a new toy) every so often. 

 

And everytime we stopped, I let him out and run wild.   We played lots of games of tag!   

post #27 of 46

subbing, lots of long road trips and vaca coming!

post #28 of 46
Thread Starter 

well, we are on the road. We skipped Bible study....we decided the idea of dressing up and then changing afterwards with two cranky tired kids seemed like a bad start to the trip. So we're on the road now. I have my fingers crossed that the kids sleep so that whoever isn't driving can also sleep. I will update, hopefully not with my foot in my mouth about our road trip ambitions, lol. So far transformers and the magnadoodle are doing the trick.

post #29 of 46

Hope your trip is going well!  

 

You've gotten a lot of great suggestions here.  I second the suggestion of audiobooks.  We do that all the time, and my kids love it, especially if they can have their own headsets.  Sometimes we all listen together, but other times they either take turns or we use one of those splitters that allows you to plug two sets of headphones into one iPod.  That way I don't have to listen to Charlotte's Web for the 900th time! :)  

 

 My kids also love art activities in the car.  I recently did a blog post about the activities I made for them to keep the occupied on an 8-hour drive.  It's probably too late to help you out for this trip, but maybe you'll get some ideas for a future one:

 

http://willandkateinluxembourg.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-to-survive-long-road-trip-with.html

 

Good luck!

post #30 of 46

I know I'm late on this, but when mine were little I always brought a bottle of bubble-soap with us. They loved chasing bubbles at rest stops.

post #31 of 46

I usually hit the dollar store before we go on a road trip.  I just look for little things that will keep them busy - some of which others have suggested: pipe cleaners, little animals, a new coloring book, puzzles, etc...  One thing I have used before that works well are balloons.  Although we don't use them anymore - once one popped while we were in the car and nearly gave my dh a heart attack so now they are banned blush.gif.  But our two kids would toss them back and forth and that would entertain them for a while.  Someone mentioned crayons melting in the car - we have started using those new crayola colored pencils in the car.  You turn them for a new point so you don't have to sharpen them.  I also go to the local thrift store and buy a bunch of new kids books at 4/$1 so they have new books to read. 

 

I'm heading out on a road trip myself this summer - so will be looking for tips from others...

post #32 of 46

You should be at your destination right about now, if you kept to your schedule.  How'd it go?

post #33 of 46

Well, I'm not the OP, but I'm glad I read this. I can't believe it never occurred to me to take pipe cleaners in the car! DD1 creates all kinds of neat stuff with pipe cleaners! So, thanks to whoever posted that.

post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenniferlynne View Post

Hope your trip is going well!  

 

You've gotten a lot of great suggestions here.  I second the suggestion of audiobooks.  We do that all the time, and my kids love it, especially if they can have their own headsets.  Sometimes we all listen together, but other times they either take turns or we use one of those splitters that allows you to plug two sets of headphones into one iPod.  That way I don't have to listen to Charlotte's Web for the 900th time! :)  

 

 My kids also love art activities in the car.  I recently did a blog post about the activities I made for them to keep the occupied on an 8-hour drive.  It's probably too late to help you out for this trip, but maybe you'll get some ideas for a future one:

 

http://willandkateinluxembourg.blogspot.com/2011/04/how-to-survive-long-road-trip-with.html

 

Good luck!


I just checked out your post - that stuff is great -and things I hadn't heard of before - like the sandpaper/yarn idea.  Thanks!

 

post #35 of 46
Thread Starter 

Well. A million years later, I finally have a chance to update.

 

We got here a few minutes after 10 PM on Thursday. All in all the trip took us about 25 hours vs the 22 hours that the GPS predicted. I think that is awesome for traveling with two small kids in a tightly packed car with no AC, driving through the south.

 

The night time was fine. We drove til early morning, taking turns, and the kids slept. We did stop for pee breaks and gas, and at 2:30 AM when we stopped we took them out of the car, changed dd's pullup, took ds pee and then gave them cheezits, which was novel enough that they stuffed their faces nonstop for abut 15 minutes, in complete silence, before falling back asleep.

 

We ate breakfast at a waffle house and that was where I changed them out of their pj's, did dd's hair and washed them up a bit. That stop took about 45 minutes. Then we stopped again midmorning because our windshield wipers are old and it was raining heavily. we couldn't find anywhere near the interstate to buy new wiper blades so we just pulled over and sang songs and let the worst of the storm pass. (OK, actually I took ds out and he splashed in the puddles in the parking lot.) That was about a 20 minute stop.

 

We stopped AGAIN at 12:30 PM to fill up and get the kids drinks. The place we stopped at happened to have an old train caboose out back that wasz converted into a CB radio shop. ds loved it and we spent close to an hour there. About 2 hours after that we took a quck 30 minute break for lunch. We had planned to to eat in the car but it was just too hot.

 

 we did a lot of 5 minute pee break stops where we all jumped out the car, went pee, had ds run a couple laps around the car and got back in. Super fast but just enough to stretch out legs. I had totally overestimated the capacity of a 14-week pregnant bladder. It was actually ME that needed to stop the most.

 

The pipe cleaners were a hit. stickers and foam sheets, especially sparkly stickers, were a HUGE hit with both kids. Ds' transformer and dd's baby doll also were immensely entertaining. we couldn't really sing or talk much in the car because of the noise from the wind (all the windows were down due to having no AC). the magna doodle and a big whiteboard that doubles as a lap desk were a lot of fun. During the last part of the trip I pulled out dollar tree stamp sets. dd pretty much just smeared the ink pad all over herself but at that point we were like 20 hrs in and I really didn't care what they did as long as it didn't cause permanent bodily harm! Also, novel items (a ziploc baggie full of baby wipes, a purse full of mismatched puzzle pieces, a couple old cell phones) kept dd entertained for a good while.

 

So....that is the story of our 25 hour road trip through the south with two small children, too much stuff, and no AC. It CAN be done without losing one's mind!!!!

post #36 of 46
Wow I don't know where you are but it is HOT here in Houston no way I'd drive around without a/c during the day! I'm glad your car made it. And your family too of course!!!
post #37 of 46

So, do you need to do a return trip or are you staying put?   Just curious?

post #38 of 46

Was interested in this because I am preparing for a trip from Fargo, ND to Fredericksburg, VA in a few weeks, and have gained a few tips in this thread! What were your start and endpoints again? I am glad it went well for you! Can't wait to hear about how the return trip goes.

post #39 of 46
Thread Starter 

We're in TX (came from Va Bch, VA). We are staying for the rest of the summer so by the time we make a return trip it should be a bit cooler (I hope!). Plus SO has a merchanic in the family here so we will have the car fixed by then.

post #40 of 46

I have to admire your guts - I could never had attempted a trip like that when my kids were that age!

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